Wood pigeon with baby gem, mooli, port and granola

4
60 minutes

Ingredients

Pigeon

  • 2 wood pigeons
  • Maldon salt
  • 1 dash of vegetable oil

Pickled baby gem

  • 1 baby gem lettuce
  • 175ml of white wine
  • 60ml of cider vinegar
  • 8 pink peppercorns
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf

Mooli

  • 1 mooli, sliced as thinly as possible into rounds
  • 50ml of light soy sauce
  • 25ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
  • 25ml of balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml of sesame oil
  • 50ml of rapeseed oil

Granola

  • 10g of fennel seeds
  • 10g of cumin seeds
  • 10g of porridge oats
  • 10g of poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp of runny honey

Port and beetroot gel

  • 400ml of beetroot juice
  • 750ml of port
  • 9g of agar agar
  • 9g of Maldon salt
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 30ml of balsamic vinegar
  • 30ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar

To garnish

  • red mustard cress

Method

1
The day before serving, prepare the baby gem. Add all the ingredients (apart from the baby gem) to a pan and gently heat until the sugar dissolves. Separate the lettuce into individual leaves and, once the pickling liquor is cool, submerge the leaves in the liquid. Leave to pickle in the fridge overnight
  • 175ml of white wine
  • 60ml of cider vinegar
  • 8 pink peppercorns
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 baby gem lettuce
2
For the mooli, combine all the ingredients (apart from the mooli) in a bowl. Add the thin radish slices and set aside to marinate until ready to serve
  • 50ml of light soy sauce
  • 25ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
  • 25ml of balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml of sesame oil
  • 50ml of rapeseed oil
  • 1 mooli, sliced as thinly as possible into rounds
3
For the port gel, place the port, salt, juniper berries, bay leaf and thyme into a saucepan over a medium heat and allow to reduce by roughly 400ml. Add the beetroot juice, bring back to the boil and whisk in the agar agar. Cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and chill until set. Once set, dice into rough cubes and transfer to a blender. With the motor running, slowly pour in both vinegars until silky smooth. Transfer to a squeezy bottle
  • 750ml of port
  • 9g of Maldon salt
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 400ml of beetroot juice
  • 9g of agar agar
  • 30ml of balsamic vinegar
  • 30ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
4
For the granola, preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 4. Mix all the ingredients together (apart from the honey) and spread out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until golden, then add the honey and give everything a good stir to create small clusters. Set aside to cool (leaving the oven on for the pigeons).
  • 10g of fennel seeds
  • 10g of cumin seeds
  • 10g of porridge oats
  • 10g of poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp of runny honey
5
For the pigeon, season the birds well with salt. Place a large cast-iron pan over a high heat and add a dash of oil. Sear the birds well all over, then immediately transfer to the oven and finish cooking for 4 minutes. Remove and leave to rest for 4 minutes
  • 2 wood pigeons
  • Maldon salt
  • 1 dash of vegetable oil
6
To serve, carve the pigeon breasts and place one on each plate (save the remaining carcasses and legs to make stock or sauce for another dish). Drain the baby gem leaves and drape one over the bird, covering it completely. Place a few slices of mooli alongside, as well as a large dot of the port gel. Finish with a generous scattering of the granola, then garnish with mustard leaves
  • red mustard cress